Android head unit - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2015, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
Intrepid Fan
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 153
Feedback: 0 / 0%
                     
Garage
Android head unit

I finally installed one of those Chinese Android double-DIN head units. I don't have the fiberglass skills to create a fully stock-looking install but I am fairly happy with the results.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG7504_1443729443104.jpg (75.6 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG7495_1443729479542.jpg (80.4 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 1443729494509-700922962_1443729506167.jpg (82.6 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG7503_1443729533309.jpg (77.2 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg IMAG7501_1443729561111.jpg (69.7 KB, 38 views)
celamantia is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2015, 05:57 PM
Woober Goobers!

 
Ronbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tiny Pebble, AR
Posts: 48,246
Feedback: 44 / 100%
                     
ChinkDroid!
Ronbo is online now  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 05:06 PM
Intrepid Pro
 
mnitetrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: s/e ma
Posts: 13,669
Feedback: 2 / 100%
                     
Put it through it's paces for a few weeks and let' see how it stacks up.

Nav as accurate as phone apps or known GPS??

How is sound?

Back up cam come with it?
mnitetrain is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
Intrepid Fan
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 153
Feedback: 0 / 0%
                     
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnitetrain View Post
Put it through it's paces for a few weeks and let' see how it stacks up.

Nav as accurate as phone apps or known GPS??

How is sound?

Back up cam come with it?

Here's my early notes; I'll go into more detail as I learn more about it.

The package I purchased did come with a camera, although it was also available without for slightly less. In retrospect I probably would have preferred a license plate frame camera.

I'm not particularly an audiophile, but it sounds fine on my Midline system with the stock ES Midline amp. Some manufacturers of these Chinese units say they won't work with the Infinity amps, but I have no idea why. My prior radio was an RBQ 6-disk changer. There are two sets of audio outputs: a standard harness type with four outputs, and a set of RCA cables with five outputs (one for a subwoofer). I don't know if the levels are different on the two sets of outputs. I got no sound until I hooked up the blue "auto antenna" wire which actually powers the Midline amp. (Note: Although I have the stock Midline rear deck speakers, I do have some low-end Kenwoods from Crutchfield in the doors.)

The NAV software it comes with is iGo, but I suspect it's an unlicensed version as I don't seem to be able to get updates or extras at the iGo site. The software itself is great, with the exception that it doesn't speak street names. It has lane assist like the "big boy" GPS's do. This being Android, you can replace the offline GPS; I replaced it briefly with Co-Pilot which does speak street names but doesn't have lane assist. I went back to iGo. You can select in setup which app responds to the GPS button or the generic Navigation icon.

The GPS antenna did occasionally lose its fix on the satellites when I had it in the stereo bay; I moved it under the front of the dash (where the sun sensor would go if I had auto headlights) and it hasn't lost a fix since.

The system comes out of the box with the ability to play DVDs, CDs, music files, and of course radio with three sets of FM presets and two sets of AM presets. It has no automatic "Virtual CD" capability (most WinCE based head units will automatically rip the last 20 or 40 CDs but Android units don't because the OS is actually interacting with a separate player board). There are two Micro SD slots: one for the map software (it came with an 8GB card, of which iGo took up 2GB) and I put a 32GB card in the other slot for music (although the built in music player will play from internal storage, the map card, or the second SD card).

The system has three different players: the DVD player, a Radio player, and a Music player (for MP3 files). the DVD and Radio players apparently have independent boards and just receive commands from the Radio and DVD apps, so they are not easily replaceable. The Music player is a standard Android app so you could replace it with something like PowerAMP; however, PowerAMP did not respond to the pause (pushing the Volume dial) or next/previous track (Tuner dial) so I went back to the stock player. The biggest problem with the stock player is that it doesn't support playlists.

The unit has built-in WiFi capability, and the ability to add 3G via a USB dongle. There is one front-mounted USB (micro USB but it comes with a pigtail cable to adapt the micro USB to standard USB) and two rear USB (one of which you would use for the 3G dongle).

The system has a built-in mic for Bluetooth which is awful, and an external mic which is much better. I disassembled the shell of the mic to find the mic itself is a small 3/8" cylinder; i drilled a 3/8" hole into the blank spot where the Traction Control button would go and pressed the mic into the hole; it works much better.

My HTC One did not want to auto-connect to the Bluetooth handsfree system of the head unit, but this turned out to be a glitch in the phone, not the head unit. I installed the Bluetooth Phonebook app from the Play store into my phone ($3.99 I think) and it fixed the problem; not only does my phone auto-connect when I enter the car but it also syncs the contact list (the first time the phone will prompt you for permission, after that it is automatic).

I also have a Bluetooth connection to a Bluetooth OBDII dongle in my diagnostic port. The phone came with a copy of Torque Pro (it wasn't preinstalled but it is on the internal storage, there is an icon to access it and install it), so I can use that to get extra gauges.

The version I bought has a 6.2" screen with physical volume/tuner knobs; there is also a version with a 6.95" screen with no volume or tuner knobs (you use Vol +/- and < and > buttons instead). Some versions have no CD/DVD drive and are shallower; these might be useful if you planned to install it in the climate control bay (which only has 5" behind it) as opposed to the radio bay (which has 8" or so).

In the radio bay, there are plastic supports above and below the radio. These are double-walled supports. I had to Dremel away the bottom wall of the top support and the top wall of the bottom support. With these cuts I was able to slide the double-DIN unit in, and it was centered between the climate control bay and the cubby bay. A Dremel with a cutting disk was used to make the radio bay taller. I bought a single-DIN install kit to get the curved cover plate, Dremeled off the rounded "ears" and epoxied them into the curved parts of the old radio bay in the bezel to fill them. The fit was good top and bottom but I had too much gap on the sides so I used some U-channel meant to protect door edges to fill the gap. The radio comes with a frame but fitting it in would require the radio to stick out more than I would like, or cutting the bit of bezel between the bays away completely.

One nice little touch: The color of the illuminated buttons is adjustable; it comes set for bright blue but I adjusted it to Chrysler green to match my cluster. There is an OEM settings in the setup that is password protected (password is 126) that lets you select a boot logo; I set mine for the Dodge logo so it looks OEM. I also changed the background to black with a faint Dodge logo (the default background was too bright at night even with the brightness cranked down). I've attached the wallpaper I created in case you get this and want to use it.

There are many many versions of this unit available; the unit I purchased was http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NPM37U0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00 . Although it shows no logo on the bezel, the one I received did have a small chrome "PUMPKIN" lettered at the bottom. I had planned to try to remove it chemically but now that it's installed I barely notice it.

Boot time for the unit is about 30 seconds; however, if you switch into reverse, the backup camera comes on even if the system isn't booted. The camera seems to be a separate system, as Android doesn't "see" it. The camera it came with superimposes range lines on the display; if you buy the unit without a camera and get the camera separately, it is available with or without range lines.

The system has an app for a DVR for a front-facing camera; however, it didn't come with a front-facing camera. It has video outputs to go to rear headrest displays but again I did not experiment with those. The DVD player is not supposed to output to the front screen if the parking brake is on but to detect this you need to connect a sense wire to the parking brake light in the cluster. Rather than go through all that just so it can disable video, I just connected that wire to ground (which is probably illegal but I just won't play a DVD while the car is in motion). If you were to connect that wire to the parking brake light, you can enable or disable video when the brake is not on in Setup under "Car Safety".

The unit comes with a remote control but the remote does not come with a battery. It requires a CR2025 coin battery.

For the Android hackers, there is a huge technical thread on this family of units at http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2660662 complete with instructions on how to root it and some replacement apps for the radio and music player.

Overall I love the unit. There was an Android unit with a 4 inch screen in the standard round radio format but it was out of stock so i got this instead; I couldn't imagine trying to navigate the touchscreen on a 4-inch display.

-Chris
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG7519_1.jpg (64.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: png dodgewallpaper.png (38.4 KB, 18 views)
celamantia is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 12:58 PM
Intrepid Pro
 
mnitetrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: s/e ma
Posts: 13,669
Feedback: 2 / 100%
                     
Keep us posted, sounds like a half way decent unit.

Quite a few nice features/options. Wonder if Google maps/nav would work?
mnitetrain is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
Intrepid Fan
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 153
Feedback: 0 / 0%
                     
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnitetrain View Post
Keep us posted, sounds like a half way decent unit.

Quite a few nice features/options. Wonder if Google maps/nav would work?
My understanding is that although you can get offline maps, it can't find a route without a live internet connection. Voice control also requires a live internet connection as Android passes the voice input to Google's servers for processing. So I've been looking into what it will take to add 3G. The only "officially" supported 3G dongles are other Chinese units but getting one activated on my provider (Sprint) may not be possible, and it looks like there is a little more to it than just plugging in a device and getting Internet.

I was hoping to use Bluetooth to piggyback off my phone but the head unit seems to be missing something that would make that work. I could create a WiFi hotspot on my phone but I would have to manually turn on my WiFi hotspot every time I get into my car so I'd rather have a simpler solution. Installing a WiFi 3G hotspot device under the dash might work, if I could set it up as a metered connection so it wouldn't try to update apps and such over the limited data of the hotspot as opposed to the unlimited data of the WiFi available in my garage.
celamantia is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 08:50 PM
Intrepid Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 53
Feedback: 0 / 0%
 
Looks good. The question is sound the quality and durability of the unit it self?
rapide is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
Intrepid Fan
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 153
Feedback: 0 / 0%
                     
Garage
So far it sounds fine to me, but I am probably a poor person to judge that because I don't put a lot of demand on an audio system (I still have mostly stock hardware except for the door speakers) and as far as durability time will have to tell.

It does have at least one major flaw: the system has both an integrated microphone and a jack for an external microphone. Internally, there is a microphone connection for the Android part of the system and a separate connection for the Bluetooth handsfree part of the system. The four connections (two mics and the two mic inputs on the boards) are for some reason wired in parallel with each other, making the mics truly sound awful. The solution in the huge thread discussing these units is to take the unit apart and separate the Android input from the Bluetooth input, wiring the external jack directly to the Bluetooth board. Attempting to use any kind of voice control (via, say, Google Now or the Android keyboard speech input) usually crashes, probably because the audio is so muddy. I'm going to open mine up and perform this surgery tomorrow, but if you use your handsfree a lot and don't want to crack your unit open this might not be the unit for you. If you're a tinkerer, though, this is probably a minor hiccup considering all of the other flexibility it gives you.

As far as Internet goes, I used Tasker on my phone to automate the process of turning on the hotspot; I set it up for "If I have a connection to the car Bluetooth and I don't have an active WiFi connection on my phone (i.e. I'm not sitting in my garage) and I have at least 20% battery power, create the hotspot; the moment any one of those three items is no longer true, turn off the hotspot and turn WiFi back on. To make this perfect, I would need to use the Android "data usage" menu to mark the hotspot as a hotspot so the radio doesn't try to use it for, say, app updates and blow out my hotspot limit; unfortunately this menu option has been hidden by the manufacturer. It can be unhidden but that requires rooting the device. So again, best results if you don't mind tinkering; otherwise, a brand name unit might be better.

All in all, though, still loving the device. Getting voice commands working will make it even more useful, as it ties in to my Google account so I can use a virtual assistant to do all sorts of stuff through voice commands if needed.

Chris
celamantia is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-22-2016, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
Intrepid Fan
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Augusta, GA
Posts: 153
Feedback: 0 / 0%
                     
Garage
It's been almost a year, so thought I would throw out there that the unit still works great. The microphone it came with was pretty cheap and noisy; I replaced it with $30 Clarion RCB 199 Bluetooth Microphone and did the "split the Bluetooth input from the onboard mic" surgery on it and got much better results. Although the external mic did just stop working; I suspect one of my solder joints broke.

The home screen weather has stopped updating, I suspect whatever site they are stealing weather data from changed their format. That is the main downside with these cheap Chinese units, no software updates. If I root it, though, there are homebrew updates available out there.

I ended up installing Waze as my main GPS app; that alone has been pretty much worth the price of the unit.
celamantia is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Member names may only be composed of alpha-numeric characters. (A-Z and 0-9)

!!ATTENTION ADVERTISERS!! If you intend on advertising anything on this forum, whatsoever, you are required to first contact us here . Additionaly, we do NOT allow BUSINESS NAMES unless you are an Authorized Vendor. If you own a business, and want to do sales on this site via posting or private message, you will need to follow the rules. Shops, Stores, Distributors, Group Buys without being authorized will see your account terminated.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome